Innovative Practice 2019 on Independent Living and Political Participation

Introduction of the personal assistance model

In 2016 the Phnom Penh Centre for Independent Living (PPCIL) – an NGO based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – began to introduce personal assistance services for people with severe disabilities in several Phnom Penh communities. The programme provides awareness training for local decision-makers on disability, independent living, and the development of accessibility guidelines, among other topics. It is the first introduction of the personal assistance model in Cambodia, and PPCIL is currently negotiating with the federal government to adapt the model as a national policy. Between 2016 and 2018, more than 300 people with disabilities in 15 communities have benefitted from the PPCI programme.

“I am very happy that I have a chance to experience personal assistant services provided by PPCIL. The personal assistant makes me become more self-confident and sees my abilities, not only my disability.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Personal Assistant Service System (PASS)
Organisation:Phnom Pen Centre for Independent Living (PPCIL)
of Implementation


  • PASS implemented in 15 communes in five districts of Phnom Penh
  • 30 volunteer personal assistants are supporting PASS


In Cambodia, the capacity for delivering services such as personal assistants, health care, and rehabilitation for persons with disabilities is very limited.


PPCIL Personal Assistant Training.

PPCIL seeks to provide greater independence to persons with severe disabilities through its the Personal Assistant Service System (PASS), which provides awareness training for local decision-makers on disability, independent living, the development of accessibility guidelines, among other topics. PPCIL has adopted PASS from Japan, where it has been actively and effectively implemented throughout the country. To that end, PPCIL has organized trainings and awareness campaigns to implement PASS at the community level and to ensure proper budget allocations.

Other actions have included the development of accessibility guidelines, the instalment of accessible ramps and toilets in community offices and homes of people with disabilities, and the training of relevant stakeholders in disability laws. Further, PPCIL is in negotiations with government authorities to make PASS a nationwide policy and is lobbying to provide services such as pensions, free health care, and rehab services for people with disabilities.

To date, PASS has been supported by 30 personal assistants, most of whom have been university students working as volunteers.

In continuation of the PASS model, PPCIL is promoting an Independent Living Model of Persons with Severe Disabilities (ILDP), which has just begun.


PASS has been implemented in 15 communes in five districts in Phnom Penh. In order to convince the government to further scale-up the system, PPCIL has provided trainings and organized advocacy campaigns win the support of local decision-makers. In addition, PPCIL implemented accessibility modifications for 90 people with severe disabilities to serve as role models for the programme. To date, the government remains undecided on how and when to roll-out the personal assistance service on a nationwide basis.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and UNICEF have funded the introduction of PASS in Cambodia with more than $90,000. The Human Care Association supports the ILDP project with $38,000.

Meeting with local decision makers.


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